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Obituaries from the week of August 7, 2013

Harold Bertrand, 80

  Funeral services for Harold Bertrand were held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Wilmont, MN on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. with Fr. Andrew Beerman officiating.  The organist was Linda Huisman with special music by Katie Bertrand, Sarah Bertrand, Maggie Bertrand and Lissa Bertrand.  The pallbearers were John Bertrand, Michael Bertrand, Adam Bertrand, Andrea Bertrand, Josh Bertrand, Jordan Christiansen and Cole Kocmick.  The honorary pallbearers were Cannon Mueller, Wally Scott, Whitey Jueneman, Don Ebbinga, Marv Ferguson, Clarence Ness, Tom Haberman and Andrew Wieneke.  A private interment will take place at Calvary Cemetery in Wilmont, MN.  Military honors accorded by the Wilmont VFW Post. 

Harold John Bertrand was born on November 28, 1932 in Plummer, Minnesota. He was adopted in 1939 and raised by his parents Nicholas and Lucy Bathon Bertrand in Wilmont, MN. He graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in 1950.

He and Donna Koehn were married at St. Rose of Lima Church in Avoca, MN on February 6, 1952. After residing in Minneapolis for a brief time, Harold was drafted into the United States Army on May 21, 1953 serving during the Korean War. Following his honorable discharge on March 31, 1955 he returned to Wilmont.  He and Donna farmed north of Wilmont.  They retired in 1996 and moved to Wilmont.

Harold was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Catholic Order of Foresters and the Wilmont VFW Post.  He also served on the Wilmont Farmer’s Elevator board.  Harold was a strong member of Alcoholics Anonymous working hard to maintain his sobriety for 40 years and helping many others with their journey to sobriety. 

After a recent illness Harold passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at Our House Hospice Home in Slayton, MN on Friday, August 2, 2013 at the age of 80.  Harold and Donna were proud parents of seven children. Harold’s life was centered on his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He spent many hours making his family laugh and making sure there were opportunities to get together. Special memories were made at Grandpa’s lake cabin. Through his life Harold enjoyed fishing, woodworking, yard work, his computer, traveling and recently throwing horseshoes. Wintering in Arizona over the past 12 years was special to Harold and there he met many friends and enjoyed visits from family.

Harold is survived by his wife, Donna of 61 years and his seven children and their spouses, Nick and Pat Bertrand of Brandon, SD, Gene and Carol Bertrand of Wilmont, MN, Gary and Mary Bertrand of Millersville, MD, Bruce and Ginny Bertrand of Slayton, MN, Dennis and Nancy Bertrand of Wood Lake, MN, Suanne and Loren Christiansen of Balaton, MN and Jane and Jim Kocmick of Brandon, SD, 19 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, three siblings and their spouses, Clara and Lloyd Fuerstenberg of Wilmont, MN, Agnes and Lloyd Demarais of Rochester, MI and Jeanne and Daryl Harms of Bella Vista, AR and many nieces and nephews as well as many friends and AA members. 

Harold was preceded in death by his parents, infant son, two brothers, Philip Cyr and Donald Bertrand and father and mother-in-law, Harold and Elaine Koehn.

Totzke Funeral Home of Slayton is entrusted with arrangements. To send condolences visit  In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Our House Hospice Home in Slayton, MN.


George Hemish, 72

 George Duane Hemish, age 72, of Mankato, MN, died Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.  Funeral services were held at Centenary United Methodist Church in Mankato.

George Hemish was born November 21, 1940 to Frank and Ida (Slama) Hemish in Marshall, MN.  George was united in marriage to Virginia Maker on September 24, 1966.  He worked for 32 years at Kato Engineering.  George was self-employed mowing lawns and snow removal.  George enjoyed fishing, small engines, and county fair tractor pulls, especially red ones.

George is survived by three sons, Matthew Hemish, Reed (Rhea) Hemish, Jason Hemish all of Mankato; three granddaughters, Brooke, Rachel and Sarah Hemish; seven siblings, Gordon (Doris) Hemish of Tracy, MN, Howard Hemish of Farmington, MN, Franklin (Barbara) Hemish of Tracy, MN, Ann Fechter of North Mankato, Shirley (Jim) Mlodzik of North Mankato, Joyce Jeffery of Madison Lake, MN, Sandra Witmore of Atlanta, GA; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia in 1987; sisters, Viola and Marian; brother Archie.

Interment was in the Glenwood Cemetery, Mankato, MN. 

Bonnie Irving, 68
Bonnie Irving born in Tracy, MN July 13, 1945 and died on July 14, 2013 in Westlake Village, California of breast cancer. She is survived by her husband James Irving, children Troy Banks, Angel Nagatsuka, Crystal Irving, Gina Irving, and Jaelyn Irving. She also leaves behind 8 grandchildren Jordan Banks, Allyssa Banks, Chandler Banks, Alexis Banks, Brandon Chao, Andrew Chao, Allyson Nagatsuka, and Brayden Nagatsuka, as well as her Minnesota family mother Helen Sammons, sisters Randi Wixon, Debbie Shamatt, Kim Sammons, and brother Jerome Sammons.

Her family in California had memorial for her July 19, 2013, and her remains were then sent to Tracy where she will be laid to rest following a private family ceremony graveside.


Dorothy Rooney, 85

  A Mass of Christian Burial for Dorothy (McMahon) Rooney was held on July 29, 2013 at St. Boniface Catholic Church, Sioux City, IA. Her son, Father William Rooney, O.F.M. and Father Michael Erpelding, were Celebrants at the 10:30 a.m. service

Dorothy was born Sept. 8, 1927 in Tracy, MN, to Michael Emmett and Christine (Peters) McMahon. She grew up in Manilla, Iowa, where she graduated from high school.

On Nov. 3, 1949, she married William T. “Bill” Rooney at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manilla, Iowa. They lived and raised their family in Sioux City, IA. Dorothy’s husband died November 11, 1969 in a construction accident.

Dorothy was a longtime member of St. Boniface Church, where she belonged to the Altar Society and Mission Club. She enjoyed bowling, golfing and  Wednesday afternoon Book Club. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family.

Dorothy had been in failing health and died at Touchstone Living Center on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at the age of 85.

Survivors include her six children, Mike Rooney and his wife, Trudy of Sioux City, IA; Father Bill Rooney, O.F.M. of Cleveland, OH; Kathy Thomas of Angola, IN; Mary Thomas of Sioux City, IA; Jane Schroeder and her husband, Dave of Sioux City, IA; and Lori Gross and her husband, DeWayne of Sheldon, Iowa; and 14 grandchildren and spouses, as well as 14 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Patricia McMahon of Manilla, Iowa. Among the many nieces and nephews who survive are Alma Jean Sandbo Satran and her husband, Dr. Leon Satran, Minneapolis, MN, and Gary Sandbo and his wife, Suzanne Cain Sandbo, Lindsborg, KS.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; an infant son, Joseph; and five siblings, Bernice Mose, Gerald “Jiggs” McMahon, Madonna Schwieso, Marvel Tripp and Russell McMahon.

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Sioux City, IA. Pallbearers will be her grandchildren.